Orakpo checks in with the Beast

Soon after finishing his first minicamp under coach Mike Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, Redskins Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo placed a call to the NFC East blog. Orakpo didn't temper his enthusiasm for Haslett's 3-4 scheme at all. He said a lot of time and energy went into installation on Friday and Saturday, but he was running around making plays by Sunday.

Orakpo, who flourished in Greg Blache's 4-3 scheme last season, thinks Haslett will be much more aggressive. He called him a "players coach" and talked about how much energy Haslett brought to practice. He used the word "fiery" three times while describing Haslett. More importantly, though, Orakpo talked about his role in the new defense. He said he was lining up on both sides as an outside linebacker, but that his primary spot would be on the right side.

Asked if he'd still be asked to drop back in coverage quite a bit, Orakpo said, "I hope not. I want to be racing upfield, not playing side to side. That's my strength. We'll have guys coming from all over the place. Hopefully teams won't know where any of our rush is coming from."

Since I know the Houston, Texas, native is a professed Cowboys hater, I told him there was a rumor the Cowboys would open the regular season at Washington.

"That's good to hear," said Orakpo. "We have a little something for 'em. Actually, we owe all the NFC East teams something after what took place last season."

I also asked Orakpo what he thought of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth not attending the minicamp.

"Well, technically it's called a voluntary camp," said Orakpo. "I've talked to Haynesworth this offseason and I'm hoping he'll join us soon. We'll have to see what happens when it becomes mandatory. But I know how good he is, so I'm ready to see how he's used in the defense."

OK, we'll have more from Orakpo as the week unfolds. He was a "huge" Donovan McNabb fan growing up, so he said it was a thrill to suddenly be playing with him.